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Friday, July 10, 2009
And That HappenedNationals 11, Astros 10: Everyone will be writing this morning about how Joel Hanrahan got the win in this game despite no longer playing for the Nats and how Nyjer Morgan scored the winning run even though he was playing for the Pirates when the game started. Even trippier, though, is that (a) both men were succeeded by vice-presidents named Johnson who were southern Democrats and former senators; and (b) Hanrahan had a secretary named Morgan, and Morgan had a secretary named Hanrahan!
Astros 9, Nationals 4: While this one wasn't a continued game like the previous on, Jose Cruz somehow drove in the winning run and Bob Knepper got the win. Strange, really.
Indians 10, White Sox 8: They're replaying this on STO as I write this, but looking at this box score makes me want to run away screaming. A 3:43 nine-inning game, the winning team's starting pitcher gave up eight runs on eleven hits in four and a third, and a game story in which the manager says that he thought it was OK for the closer to pitch a four-out save because, hey, he's had four days off? Nah, you can keep this one.
Yankees 6, Twins 4: The Alfredo Aceves-as-starter gambit didn't go quite according to plan (3.1 IP, 4 H, 4 R), but a win's a win. Actually, against the Twins this year, a win's a win a win a win a win a win a win a win.
Dodgers 11, Mets 2: The Dodgers rap out 17 hits and take 2 of 3 from the Mets, who have lost 10 of 13. 10 of 13. How'd they ever win three? It's a miracle!
By the way, here's a great example of why I don't get enough sleep on nights I write these things. Looking at the Dodgers-Mets box score, I notice that Manny Ramirez has a bunch of twos. Two hits, at bats, runs, RBIs, walks, etc. I immediately think, "hmm, maybe I can say something funny about that." The first thing that pops into my mind is Doublemint gum, which is almost immediately followed by some vague memory of Mel Brooks telling a set of twins to "chew your gum" in one of his movies. Wondering if there was any worthy context around that, I search for "Mel Brooks" and "chew your gum." I didn't find what I was looking for, but I did find the "Memorable Quotes" page for "Blazing Saddles." Forgetting that I have recaps to write, I read every single quote on there, laughing my head off because I had forgotten just how funny "Blazing Saddles" is. By the time I'm done I'm (a) wondering how many protests and carefully-crafted damage control statements the release of a movie half as explosive as "Blazing Saddles" would cause today; (b) missing Madeline Kahn an awful, awful lot (It's twue! It's twue!); and (c) many, many long minutes have passed and I've got nothing else to write about the Dodgers-Mets game. So I punt, go with that vague allusion to the "Bull Durham" quote, because really, that's about 95% of my material these days, and I move on.
Multiply that by 15 games a night, five nights a week, and you see where my sleep deficit comes from. Moving right along:
Cardinals 5, Brewers 1: I suppose you could blame the Brewers' bullpen for this -- they gave up five runs in the eighth -- but Joel Pineiro pretty much had Milwaukee handcuffed (CG, 3 H, 1 R, 5 K, 100 pitches). The Cards are now 4-2 over the first six games of a ten game road trip, and will enter the break after four against the Cubbies.
Rays 3, Blue Jays 2: How did David Price bounce back from his awful start against the Rangers last week to beat Roy Halladay and the Jays last night?
"Like every team, the Rays compile lots of data on opposing batters and share it with pitchers before games. Maddon asked pitching coach Jim Hickey not to go over the reports with Price. "We have so much information, and it's good. It's good to utilize it and we do utilize it," he said. "But there are certain moments when you really want to walk away from it and just permit your instincts" to take over.
That's probably smart and all, but didn't Price go to Vanderbilt? They're supposed to be pretty smart down at that place, so you'd think he could handle the scouting reports too.
Phillies 9, Reds 6: Inside the park homerun for Chase Utley, but then again, you know how I feel about those.
Royals 8, Red Sox 6: David DeJesus hit a go-ahead two-run homer in the sixth inning, pulling the Royals back from a four run deficit. The loss pulls the Sox down into a first place tie with the Yankees.
Giants 9, Padres 3: Lincecum continued to be ridiculous in the way he's been ridiculous lately into the seventh inning, but then he ran into trouble. Relatively speaking, of course, because to him, giving up three runs is like most pitchers getting touched for, like, six. His scoreless innings streak ends at 29.
Marlins 14, Diamondbacks 7: This looks like the NL version of that Cleveland game.
Rockies 7, Braves 6: Some of the pixie dust comes off of Tommy Hanson, as he gives up four runs on six hits in five innings. Still, he stood to be the winner until Pete Moylan and Mike Gonzales got into the game. I feel obligated to acknowledge the fact that Jeff Francoeur had a good game, going 3-4 with a double and a couple of RBI. This in no way constitutes an endorsement, however. Garrett Atkins, who has had a hell of a time this year, came through with a two-out, two-run, pinch-hit double in the eighth inning that proved to be the winner.
Mariners 3, Rangers 1: How interesting and unexpected would it be if the Mariners sweep Texas and the AL West goes into the break as a log-jam of a three-way race? It's been a couple of years since that division has been really exciting, but when it is -- like it was back in 2002, say -- it's always fun for those of us back east to wake up in the morning and see what crazy stuff happened while we were sleeping.
Posted by Craig Calcaterra at 5:42am
The Common Man said...
“Chew your gum.”
Posted 07/10 at 07:34 AM
t ball said...
Regarding David Price bouncing back, Fangraphs had an interesting look at the difference in strike zones from the Ranger game to the Toronto game. The ump hurt, then helped a bit.
Posted 07/10 at 08:03 AM
“Blazing Saddles” is so brilliant because it grafts early 70s sociology onto the western frontier. The mores of the time- racism, stereotypical homophobia and government greed and ineptness (at least one is still with us) were foisted upon a scenario of supposedly simple settlers. My favorite scene was the black railroad crew singing “I Get A Kick Out Of You” while the cowboys are whooping it up to “Camptown Races”. This proves the movie was self-censoring and an equal opportunity assault upon the (then) current society.
Posted 07/10 at 08:43 AM
What’s amazing is Blazing Saddles and Young Frankenstein, two of my all time favorite movies, both came out in 1974. Gene Wilder was awesome in both and apparently Richard Pryor was originally considered for the Cleavon Little’s role but I’m glad he didn’t get it, not the he would not have been funny, but Cleavon played the part perfectly.
The past March I was interviewing scholarship students with colleagues in their late 20’s and dropped an “Abby Normal” reference and got blank stares. As I talked about both movies the stares turned into a ‘humor the old guy stories’ moment, which is a humbling experience, but then I questioned what is the world coming to when you can’t drop a classic movie quote that is immediately received as intended.
Posted 07/10 at 09:16 AM
I think it should be pointed out that Frenchy had not one but THREE doubles last night.
Posted 07/10 at 09:21 AM
One more fun fact about the Nationals-Astros game: It ended in a city different from the one in which it started.
Posted 07/10 at 09:48 AM
I was at the first 10.whatever innings of that Nationals game until they suspended it. So I guess that means I’ve actually been at *two* Nationals wins this year, not just one. Pretty unlikely!
Posted 07/10 at 09:49 AM
mike in brooklyn said...
Re Blazing Saddles:
Posted 07/10 at 10:09 AM
Travis M. Nelson said...
The Aceves Experiment in the Yankee game didn’t have to be that way, though of course I’ll take the win any way I can get it. Girardi should have been keeping Phil Hughes groomed to step into the rotation if needed, and he missed the boat.
Posted 07/10 at 10:11 AM
mike in brooklyn said...
Posted 07/10 at 10:27 AM
I suspect the farting scene from Blazing Saddles got rave reviews from the audience but resulted in some less than appropriate antics after the viewing. Must have been fun dealing with a flatulent group of folks spouting off racially offensive terms.
As for my comically ill-informed colleagues I will be having several dinner parties this fall/winter in which I first feed them some good food followed by filling them with some classic comedies. I may have theme nights featuring Mel Brooks movies (may need to be a two parter), Gene Wilder and Richard Pryor movies, Monty Python movies and conclude with It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World. Great comedies existed pre-Austin Powers.
Gotta go - my Jitterbug is ringing.
Posted 07/10 at 11:07 AM
Hey now. Hey now. Wait just a gosh darned moment. There are very few people’s whose comments I appreciate more, or whose opinions I’ll defer to more, than MooseinOhio, but I feel it is incumbent on me to defend my age group a little bit here. Let me start off by saying that I am a person who is in his early 20s, has watched and appreciated Blazing Saddles, Young Frankenstein, Monty Python movies (and not just Holy Grail!) and episodes of the show, and many other “classic” or “older” comedies. (In fact, I once met Mel Brooks and did a very small, very simple favor for him.) But even I had to sit and think awhile before figuring out who Abby Normal was. For us young’uns, the watching of a movie like Young ‘Stein is kind of an event. It’s not on TV too often, we kind of have to seek it out. It’s not just “watching a movie” it’s “watching a classic movie.” So we haven’t necessarily had the opportunity to watch and re-watch to the point where we’re able to instantly pick up all references. Granted, there are undoubtedly many folks in my generation who haven’t seen these fine films and they are greatly in need of some schoolin’. But, I should also point out that the movies you (by you, I mean Moose and Mike) chose to exemplify the comedy selection of the last few years don’t do justice to contemporary comedy. Sure movies like Office Space, American Pie and Austin Powers aren’t really all that funny, but Wet Hot American Summer, 40 Year Old Virgin, Borat, these are movies that actually have the potential to make the viewer laugh, and while they may lack the sharp social-critique-y edge of some of the older films mentioned, they’re still to some degree or another quite worthwhile watches. Anyway, in sum, we twenty-somethings are not all ignorant of what came before our births and not everything that is targeted to us nowadays is dreck. I will now shut up and go back to respecting my elders.
Posted 07/10 at 11:39 AM
Travis M. Nelson said...
I have also been disappointed in how little the young movie-viewing public knows or appreciates the classics of former generations. I’m only 34, but my wife and I watched “Airplane!” with some college kids last year and they didn’t get it at all.
My theory is that they’re kind of jaded these days, having seen most of those gags done to death, whereas they were more ground-breaking when we watched them back in the 80’s or earlier.
As far as college professors and movies, I had a religion studies professor who, as a first assignment in his class, “Sources for the Life of Jesus” had us watch two movies and then write a paper comparing and contrasting the views of Jesus in each.
The first film was “The Last Temptation of Christ”.
The other was “Monty Python’s Life of Brian.”
Needless to say, he was my favorite professor.
Posted 07/10 at 11:50 AM
Jason B said...
“government greed and ineptness (at least one is still with us)”
At least one? I’ll say they went two-for-two there easily.
I’m in my 20’s and grew up watching lots of comedies - some good, some awful, most in the creamy middle. I’ve sat through the 85% of tedious/painful Python skits and wear that like a badge of honor (granted, the other 15% is *really* good). Bob Newhart cracks me up in a way that few other people can.
That said, I think Office Space should be required viewing for anyone that’s ever worked in an office environment.
And I also miss Dr. Katz.
Posted 07/10 at 11:50 AM
I’ll go a bit on the other side of that and say that while “Abby Normal” SHOULD be one of the most memorable lines from that movie… (I’m nearly incapable of mentioning anyone named “Abby” without breaking it out), I do agree that not everything current is crap.
It’s the 90% rule—90% of everything is crap. 90% of movies made in 1974 were crap, too—but the existence of “Zardoz,” “Juggernaut,” and “Big Fat Mama” doesn’t really affect the quality of those two classic Brooks films.
And, for the record, I think Office Space actually IS a good one.
Posted 07/10 at 12:06 PM
@ Jason B-
I was being a little tongue in cheek on that “one of them is still with us” stuff but I was being political today. What we should realize is Craig’s “how would this go over today?” is the pertinent topic. One answer would be the opening of “Bruno” which is apparently there merely to attack PC and draw a response.
Posted 07/10 at 12:19 PM
Office Space, Zoolander and Best in Show are all great movies and the genre of comedy movies has generationally great flicks, I guess I find it sad (for lack of a better word) that as a 43 yo referencing classic comedies I get blank stares from some 20 somethings (not all - but enough).
Circling back to baseball, I guess I occasionally feel like the older ballplayer/manager who may reference Yaz, The Splendid Splinter, Hammering Hank or Cool Papa Bell and get the blankest of blank stares.
Will be leaving soon to play golf with some young whipper snappers, hope the occasional Caddyshack reference gets a laugh.
Damn do I feel old right now.
Posted 07/10 at 12:30 PM
Not only did the Nats-Stros game end in a different city from the one in which it began, this enabled the visiting team to win on a walk-off hit.
(Using the literal definition of “visiting team”, i.e., a team playing in its opponent’s ballpark.)
Posted 07/10 at 01:27 PM
Jason B said...
I know it probably didn’t read that way, but I actually *like* Python. Even as a fan, though, I can recognize that it’s often flawed and wildly uneven. The good stuff is fantastically humorous to me; the bad stuff borders on unwatchable tedium.
Reminds me of a joke in a recent Family Guy episode—Meg was tied to a chair and being made to watch the awful Python material. She protested “But I’m a girl! I don’t even like their funny material!!” or something of that nature.
I thing Rorgg is correct - across any period, 90% of it is basically crap. As the past fades into memory and beyond, we tend to forget the thoroughly mediocre (or worse) movies and shows and only remember the classics. There will be a similar shaking out of the current-day dreck (as things like “Two and a Half Men” will slowly fade out of view and out of memory) and some time in the future, we’ll remember the good ol’ days when they only made real classic movies and shows, having long since forgotten all of the utterly banal, ordinary crap that was foisted upon us.
Same thing happens with baseball - folks romaticize the golden days of yesteryear, having forgotten all of the bad teams, bad players, and negative issues that were around in those days. (Not to mention they didn’t have a 24/7/365 voracious news cycle to feed with inane opinions and psychobabble, back in those days.)
/Done ramblin’ again/
Productivity meter reads 0.0000000017 for the morning. Pretty good day, in my book.
Posted 07/10 at 01:42 PM
mike in brooklyn said...
i actually LOVE the austin powers movies (1 and 2, not 3). but i just don’t get that office space thing. and wet hot american summer was horrendous! (which bums me out because a lot of people whose opinions i otherwise respect loved it). but then again, what the hell do i know? i just re-read my original post. how did citizen kane get listed in a conversation about comedies?
btw, funniest scene in austin powers is in the second one, and is only in the deleted scene section. it’s the jerry springer scene. pure genius.
Posted 07/10 at 01:50 PM